THE cancellation of the London Marathon did not stop one Oxfordshire runner, who staged a solo event in the garden instead.

Nicola Bishop was all set to run 26.2 miles around the streets of the capital for the seventh successive year, until it was scrapped due to coronavirus.

For a while she abandoned training, until finding inspiration on the Running Channel and from Captain Tom Moore to cover the distance at home.

It meant 1,688 laps of the 25-metre course in Kidlington.

She said: “I thought it was going to be the hardest marathon I’ve ever done.

“It was in some aspects, because I felt incredibly dizzy and sea sick at times.

“But my mum and dad (Heather and Graham) got into the London spirit and were invested in it way more than I thought.

“It was really fun.”

The 27-year-old’s personal best of 3 hours 19 minutes was never going to be under threat.

But the dizziness and soreness in the ankles improved after the two-hour mark, when Bishop changed direction.

And it saw her finish in 4hrs 51mins 38secs.

It was part of the big 2.6 Challenge, which aimed to help UK charities make up the shortfall from the lack of fundraising events in lockdown.

Bishop said: “ I set a target of £100 the day before, but because I was updating my social media as I was doing the run, the donations were rolling in.

“Normally I would listen to music and zone right out when I’m running, but this was completely different.

“I was aware of all these messages coming in, so the five hours flew by and it’s now more than £1 a lap.”

The total now stands at more than £1,775 and will be split between Blood Cancer UK and NHS charities.

“I was absolutely blown away,” she said.

“But I’m definitely not doing it again.”

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